Seven Ways to Prepare Yourself to Write Your Application Essays

Many students want to know what they can do over the summer to prepare themselves to write their application essays. Here are seven simple answers to that question:

1. Become generally familiar with the essay prompts for the Common Application and your top three schools.

2. Develop a few subject areas that you think would make effective essays. Sit with them for awhile, discard the ones that don’t continue to hold your interest. Add more subjects, repeat the process. The ones you keep coming back to are probably the strongest. Still, don’t lock in.

3. Do an honest personal assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. If you haven’t done so already (don’t worry, there are people in their eighties who haven’t), get to know yourself.

4. Begin thinking of the essay as an opportunity for self discovery, to find out what you really think on subjects you might not have thought about in the past. This “positive spin” will make the eventual writing much more pleasurable.

5. Talk to older friends or family who have been through the essay writing process.

6. Do not, please, travel to the island of Malta and herd goats all summer, just to have a juicy subject for your essay. Your subject is there, waiting for you to discover it. That’s where your early efforts should go, not in racking up air miles.

7. Don’t stress. Get to the beach.

For more personal help with the college application essay, please contact Craig Heller at 818-340-1276 or [email protected]

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